“The rebundling of creative and media has gone on in different forms since at least 2003,” he said. “But creating real financial structures and appropriately aligning the financial objectives of management in the agencies is relatively new.”
Wren touted Omnicom’s network of “outstanding talent that can truly work together.” But a breakdown of talent working on these integrated accounts would give much deeper insight into what level integration is actually occurring, Wieser said.
“What percent of the employees working at Hearts & Science on P&G were not previously working on P&G?” Wieser asked. “In other words, how many people did they pull over from Starcom? It’s hard to imagine that there’s a complete reinvention of the wheel.”
Another area Omnicom claims to be reinventing is programmatic, which it is decentralizing in part across its media agency network to diversify client buying options. Omnicom’s trading desk, Accuen, once the agency’s programmatic hub, now operates largely an as an opt-in principal-based buying unit for many clients.
“We can offer clients a bundled product, which has certain guarantees and they know the price and what they expect to get out of it,” Wren said. “Also, through the three media groups we are able to offer them unbundled products where they have a level of transparency.”
Accuen gained $10 million in incremental revenue growth this quarter, down from $25 million in Q1. But that doesn’t mean programmatic spend is down at the agency, Wieser said.
“On the surface that $10 million is low, but we know enough about Omnicom to know there’s a lot of other places where the money could be and we don’t ever get the transparency from the company to identify it,” Wieser said.
Despite continuing to buy as principal through Accuen, Omnicom looks to third-party measurement vendors to prove that clients are getting what they paid for.
“If you provide a service,” Wren said, “you can’t grade your own homework.”